(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Researchers say local laws have significant impact on teen prevention.
This informational series is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition.
The recent study, “E-Cigarette Marketing Regulations and Youth Vaping: Cross-Sectional Surveys, 2017-2019,” in the July 2020 Pediatrics (published online June 29), shows that increased exposure to e-cigarette advertisements and marketing is strongly associated with increases in youth vaping.
The study compared different e-cigarette regulations in Canadian provinces and found that teen vaping in provinces that allowed retail displays of e-cigarettes was 2.93 times higher.
Since new laws were passed to liberalize the e-cigarette market in Canada in May 2018, regulation of e-cigarette advertising has varied dramatically between provinces. Quebec and Manitoba implemented comprehensive e-cigarette ad restrictions similar to tobacco products, including a ban on retail displays and advertisements, while other provinces do not restrict these ads, which provides an opportunity to study the impact of these laws. Researchers examined responses from 12,004 16- to 19-year-olds in Canada to the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project Youth Tobacco and Vaping Survey from 2017-2019.
They found that teen exposure to vaping ads was more prevalent in provinces with fewer restrictions, that respondents who reported noticing marketing were more likely to vape, and that provinces with low restrictions on marketing had more teen vaping. The prevalence of vaping among adult smokers changed very little during this time, while vaping increased among Canadian youth.
Across Canada, teens surveyed who reported vaping in the past 30 days increased from 8.4% in 2017 to 17.8% in 2019. The study also shows that restrictive laws, in places like Quebec and Manitoba, were successful in reducing youth exposure to e-cigarette ads. Youth in those two provinces who said that they noticed this marketing “often” or “very often” did not increase between 2017 and 2019.
Researchers concluded that, while more research is needed, this study supports the effectiveness of more comprehensive laws on e-cigarette advertisements to stop teen vaping.